Current Issue | In Press | Search | About | Subscription | Submission | Home
Volume 48, No. 2
Volumes > 38 (2010-->) Volumes 28-37 (2000-09) Volumes 18-27 (1990-99) Volumes 5-17 (1978-89)
Quick Search by author or article title:
Key words: Razorbill, Atlantic Puffin, mass mortality, irruption, wreck, ocean heating, Hurricane Sandy
An unprecedented irruption of thousands of Razorbills Alca torda into Florida in winter 2012/13 was followed by a 'wreck' of Razorbills and Atlantic Puffins Fratercula arctica in outer Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in January-March 2013. We describe these events using citizen-science sources (eBird and beached-bird surveys) and band recoveries, then we discuss them in relation to extreme weather and oceanographic change. We explored effects on likely source populations using census and monitoring data, along with possible contributions from population increases, reduced food supply, and extreme weather. Winter 2012/13 followed a marine heatwave throughout the northwest Atlantic, whose effects included reduced availability of plankton. We attribute the irruption of Razorbills into Florida partly to delayed effects of Hurricane Sandy, which disrupted their coastal habitat sufficiently to cause starving birds to move south on the Labrador Current as far as Florida. Despite the continuation of anomalously warm ocean temperatures in subsequent years and a reduction in plankton communities in the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine that continues to date, no comparable events have been recorded in subsequent winters; this supports our theory that the delayed effects of Hurricane Sandy contributed to these wrecks. We highlight the power of these datasets to detect and to investigate birds' responses to extreme and anomalous conditions, which in turn provides insight into the dynamics of rapidly changing ecological systems.
ANDRES, M. 2016. On the recent destabilization of the Gulf Stream path downstream of Cape Hatteras. Geophysical Research Letters 43: 9836-9842. doi:10.1002/2016GL069966
ANKER-NILSSEN, T., HARRIS, M.P., KLEVEN, O. & LANGSET, M. 2017. Status, origin, and population level impacts of Atlantic Puffins killed in a mass mortality event in southwest Norway early 2016. Seabird 30: 1-14.
ARBIB, R.S., JR. 1981. The Christmas Bird Count: Constructing an “ideal model”. Studies in Avian Biology 6: 30-33.
BIRDCAST 2012. Forecasts: Gulf of Maine, meet Gulf of Mexico: Razorbills (and others) invade Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. Ithaca, USA: Cornell Lab of Ornithology. [Accessed online at http://birdcast.info/forecast/razorbills-invade-florida/ in Sep 2013.]
BLAKE, E.S., KIMBERLAIN, T.B., BERG, R.J., CANGIALOSI, J.P. & BEVEN II, J.L. 2013. Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Sandy, 22-29 October 2012. AL182012. Silver Spring, USA: United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center.
BRINKLEY, E.S. 2013. The changing seasons: Strangers in a strange land. North American Birds 67: 216-228.
CAIRNS, D.K., GASTON, A.J. & HUETTMANN, F. 2008. Endothermy, ectothermy and the global structure of marine vertebrate communities. Marine Ecology Progress Series 356: 239-250.
CAMPHUYSEN, C.J. & HEUBECK, M. 2001. Marine oil pollution and beached bird surveys: The development of a sensitive monitoring instrument. Environmental Pollution 112: 443-461.
CHAPDELAINE, G., DIAMOND, A.W., ELLIOT, R.D., ROBERTSON, G.J. 2001. Status and population trends of the Razorbill in eastern North America. Occasional Paper No. 105. Ottawa, Canada: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, Minister of the Environment, Canadian Wildlife Service.
CHEN, K., GAWARKIEWICZ, G.G., LENTZ, S.J. & BANE, J.M. 2014. Diagnosing the warming of the Northeastern US coastal ocean in 2012: A linkage between the atmospheric jet stream variability and ocean response. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 119: 218-227.
CLARKE, T.C.R., DIAMOND, A.W. & CHARDINE, J.W. 2010. Origin of Canadian Razorbills (Alca torda) wintering in the outer Bay of Fundy confirmed by radio-tracking. Waterbirds 33: 541-545.
COURCHESNE, S.J. 2015. SEANET blog. February 2015. North Grafton, USA: SEANET, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University. [Accessed online at https://seanetters.wordpress.com/2015/02/ on 03 Mar 2016.]
COURTER, J.R., JOHNSON, R.J., STUYCK, C.M., LANG, B.A. & KAISER, E.W. 2013. Weekend bias in Citizen Science data reporting: Implications for phenology studies. International Journal of Biometeorology 57: 715-720. doi:10.1007/s00484-012-0598-7
CROXALL, J.P., BUTCHART, S.H.M., LASCELLES, B. & STATTERSFIELD, A.J. 2012. Seabird conservation status, threats, and priority actions: A global assessment. Bird Conservation International 22: 1-34.
DAVIS, R. 1994. Southern Atlantic Coast Region. National Audubon Society Field Notes 48: 196-199.
DELL, A.I., PAWAR, S. & SAVAGE, V.M. 2014. Temperature dependence of trophic interactions are driven by asymmetry of species responses and foraging strategy. Journal of Animal Ecology 83: 70-84. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12081
DUFF, J.P., HARRIS, M.P. & TURNER, D.M. 2013. Mass mortality of puffins, linked to starvation. Veterinary Record 173: 224. doi:10.1136/vr.f5407
EBIRD 2018. eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. Ithaca, USA: eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. [Accessed online at http://www.ebird.org in Aug 2018.]
FEY, S.B., SIEPIELSKI, S.M., NUSSLÉ, S., ET AL. 2015. Recent shifts in the occurrence, cause, and magnitude of animal mass mortality events. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112: 1083-1088.
GASTON, A.J. & JONES, I.L. 1998. The Auks: Alcidae. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
GJERDRUM, C., FIFIELD, D.A. & WILHELM, S.I. 2012. Eastern Canada Seabirds at Sea (ECSAS) standardized protocol for pelagic seabird surveys from moving and stationary platforms. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report Series, no. 515. Ottawa, Canada: Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Atlantic Region.
GRADY, J.M., MAITNER, B.S., WINTER, A.S., ET AL. 2019. Metabolic asymmetry and the global diversity of marine predators. Science 363: eaat4220. doi:10.1126/science.aat4220
GREENE, C.H., FRANCIS, J.A. & MONGER, B.C. 2013. Superstorm Sandy: A series of unfortunate events? Oceanography 26: 8-9.
GREENLAW, J.S., PRANTY, B. & BOWMAN, R. 2014. The Robertson and Woolfenden Florida Bird Species: An Annotated List. Special Publication no. 8. Gainesville, USA: Florida Ornithological Society.
HARRIS, M.P. 2014. Aging Atlantic Puffins Fratercula arctica in summer and winter. Seabird 27: 22-40.
HARRIS, M.P. & ELKINS, N. 2013. An unprecedented wreck of Puffins in eastern Scotland in March and April 2013. Scottish Birds 33: 157-159.
HARRIS, M.P. & YULE, R.F. 1977. The moult of the Puffin Fratercula arctica. Ibis 119: 535-541.
HARRIS, M.P., WANLESS, S. & JENSEN, J.-K. 2014. When are Atlantic Puffins Fratercula arctica in the North Sea and around the Faeroes flightless? Bird Study 61: 182-192.
HARRIS, R.J., TSENG, F.S., POKRAS, M.A., ET AL. 2006. Beached bird surveys in Massachusetts: The Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET). Marine Ornithology 34: 115-122.
HEUBECK, M., AARVAK, T., ISAKSEN, K., JOENSEN, A., PETERSEN, I.K. & ANKER-NILSSEN, T. 2011. Mass mortality of adult Razorbills Alca torda in the Skagerrak and North Sea area, autumn 2007. Seabird 24: 11-32.
HILL, C., BEATON, G., CLICK, J., ET AL. 2014. 2013 Annual Report of the South Carolina Bird Records Committee. The Chat 78: 1-7.
HILL, C., BEATON, G., CLICK, J., ET AL. 2016. 2015 Annual Report of the South Carolina Bird Records Committee. The Chat 80: 18-25.
HIRSCH, M.E., DEGAETANO, A.T. & COLUCCI, S.J. 2001. An east coast winter storm climatology. Journal of Climate 14: 882-899.
HUETTMANN, F., DIAMOND, A.W., DALZELL, B. & MACINTOSH, K. 2005. Winter distribution, ecology and movements of Razorbills Alca torda and other auks in the outer Bay of Fundy, Atlantic Canada. Marine Ornithology 33: 161-171.
JOHNSON, C., HARRISON, G., CASAULT, B., SPRY, J., LI, W. & HEAD, E. 2013. Optical, chemical, and biological oceanographic conditions on the Scotian Shelf and in the eastern Gulf of Maine in 2012. Research document 2013/070. Ottawa, Canada: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Maritimes Region.
JONES, T., PARRISH, J.K., PETERSON, W.T., ET AL. 2018. Massive mortality of a planktivorous seabird in response to a marine heatwave. Geophysical Research Letters 45: 3193-3202.
KOOPMAN, H.N., WESTGATE, A.J., SIDERS, Z.A. & CAHOON, L.B. 2014. Rapid subsurface ocean warming in the Bay of Fundy as measured by free-swimming basking sharks. Oceanography 27: 14-16. doi:10.5670/oceanog.2014.32
KRATTER, A.W. 2018. Twenty-seventh report of the Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee: 2016-2017. Florida Field Naturalist 46: 96-117.
KRATTER, A.W. & SMALL, S. 2007. First record of Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) for Florida, and notes on other North Atlantic seabird specimen records in 2004-2005. Florida Field Naturalist 35: 22-25.
LEBARON, G. 2007. Audubon's Christmas Bird Count from 19th century conservation action to 21st century citizen science. Proceedings of the Citizen Science Toolkit Conference. Ithaca, USA: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
LINK, W.A., SAUER, J.R. & NIVEN, D.K. 2006. A hierarchical model for regional analysis of population change using Christmas Bird Count data, with application to the American Black Duck. The Condor 108: 13-24.
LINNEBJERG, J.F. 2012. Foraging ecology of breeding seabirds in Greenland. PhD dissertation. Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University.
LUCAS, Z., HORN, A. & FREEDMAN, B. 2012. Beached bird surveys on Sable Island, Nova Scotia, 1993 to 2009, show a decline in the incidence of oiling. Proceedings of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science 47: 91-129.
MILES, T., SEROKA, G., KOHUT, J., SCHOFIELD, O. & GLENN, S. 2015. Glider observations and modeling of sediment transport in Hurricane Sandy. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 120: 1771-1791. doi:10.1002/2014JC010474
MILLS, K.E., PERSHING, A.J., BROWN, C.J., ET AL. 2013. Fisheries management in a changing climate: Lessons from the 2012 ocean heat wave in the Northwest Atlantic. Oceanography 26: 191-195.
MONTEVECCHI, B., CHARDINE, J., RAIL, J.-F., ET AL. 2013. Extreme event in a changing ocean climate: Warm-water perturbation of 2012 influences breeding gannets and other marine animals in the Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Osprey 44: 14-19.
MORLEY, T.I., FAYET, A.L., JESSOP, H., ET AL. 2016. The seabird wreck in the Bay of Biscay and South-Western Approaches in 2014: A review of reported mortality. Seabird 29: 22−38.
NATIONAL CENTERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION (NCEI) 2018a. Storm Events Database. Barnstable County, USA: NCEI. [Accessed online at https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/ on 10 Oct 2018.]
NATIONAL CENTERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION (NCEI) 2018b. Local Climatological Data: Chatham Municipal Airport, MA. Silver Spring, USA: NOAA, NCEI. [Accessed online at https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/lcd on 10 Oct 2018.]
NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER (NCDC) 2018. National Climatic Data Center website. Asheville, USA: NOAA. [Accessed online at www.ncdc.noaa.gov in Aug 2018.]
NEVINS, H.M. & CARTER, H.R. 2003. Age and sex of Common Murres Uria aalge recovered during the 1997-98 Point Reyes tarball incidents in central California. Marine Ornithology 31: 51-58.
NEWTON, I. & LITTLE, B. 2009. Assessment of wind-farm and other bird casualties from carcasses found on a Northumbrian beach over an 11-year period. Bird Study 56: 158-167.
NGHIEM, S.V., HALL, D.K., MOTE, T.L. ET AL. 2012. The Extreme Melt Across the Greenland Ice Sheet in 2012. Geophysical Research Letters 39: L20502. doi:10.1029/2012GL053611
NISBET, I.C.T., VEIT, R.R., AUER, S.A. & WHITE, T.P. 2013. Marine Birds of the Eastern United States and the Bay of Fundy. Nuttall Ornithological Monographs, vol. 29. Cambridge, USA: Nuttall Ornithological Club.
NOAA 2013a. Hurricane Sandy (Atlantic Ocean). Silver Spring, USA: National Weather Service, NOAA. [Available online at https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2012/h2012_Sandy.html.]
NOAA 2013b. Service Assessment: Hurricane/Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy, October 22-29, 2012. Silver Spring, USA: National Weather Service, NOAA.
NORTHEAST REGIONAL CLIMATE CENTER (NRCC) 2020. Northeast Regional Climate Center website. Ithaca, USA: Cornell University. [Accessed online at http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu/ in Aug 2018.]
PIATT, J.F., PARRISH, J.K., RENNER, H.N., ET AL. 2020. Extreme mortality and reproductive failure of common murres resulting from the northeast Pacific marine heatwave of 2014-2016. PLoS One 15: e0226087. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0226087
PITTMAN, S. & HUETTMANN, F. 2006. Seabird Distribution and Diversity. In BATTISTA, T., CLARK, R. & PITTMAN, S. (Eds). An Ecological Characterization of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Region: Oceanographic, Biogeographic, and Contaminants Assessment. NOAA Technical Memorandum NCCOS 45. Silver Spring, USA: Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment, NOAA.
PRANTY, B. 2013. 113th CBC Florida Regional Summary. New York, USA: National Audubon Society.
PROCTOR, N.S. & LYNCH, P.J. 1993. Manual of Ornithology: Avian Structure & Function. New Haven, USA: Yale University Press.
PYLE, P. 2009. Age determination and molt strategies in North American alcids. Marine Ornithology 37: 219-225.
RICHARDSON, D.E., PALMER, M.C. & SMITH, B.E. 2014. The influence of forage fish abundance on the aggregation of Gulf of Maine Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and their catchability in the fishery. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71: 1349-1362. doi:10.1139/cjfas-2013-0489
ROBBEN, T., BROKER, S. & ROBBEN, S.N. 2014. Oceans changing: Do seabirds tell us something about ocean changes? Bird Observer 42: 273-284.
RONCONI, R.A. & WONG, S.N.P. 2003. Estimates of changes in seabird numbers in the Grand Manan archipelago, New Brunswick, Canada. Waterbirds 26: 462-472.
SATELLITE APPLICATIONS AND RESEARCH (STAR) 2016. NOAA STAR Ocean Color Science Team. College Park, USA: Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, NOAA. [Accessed online at http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/sod/mecb/color/index.php in Sep 2016.]
SCHOONOVER, J., DEWAR, W.K., WIENDERS, N. & DEREMBLE, B. 2017. Local sensitivities of the Gulf Stream separation. Journal of Physical Oceanography 47: 353-373. doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0195.1
SEABIRD ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT NETWORK (SEANET) 2010. SEANET protocol: A guide for SEANET volunteers. Version 3.1. North Grafton, USA: Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. [Accessed online at http://www.tufts.edu/vet/seanet/ on 10 Apr 2014.]
SECOR, D.H., ZHANG, F., O'BRIEN, M.H.P. & LI, M. 2018. Ocean destratification and fish evacuation caused by a Mid-Atlantic tropical storm. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 76: 573-584. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsx241
SOUTHERN, J. 2017. Briefs for the files. The Chat 81: 38-59.
STEVENSON, H.M. & ANDERSON, B.H. 1994. The Birdlife of Florida. Gainesville, USA: University Press of Florida.
SULLIVAN, B.L., AYCRIGG, J.L., BARRY, J.H., ET AL. 2014. The eBird enterprise: An integrated approach to development and application of citizen science. Biological Conservation 169: 31-40.
TREMBANIS, A., DUVAL, C., BEAUDOUIN, J., SCHMIDT, V., MILLER, D. & MAYER, L. 2013. A detailed seabed signature from Hurricane Sandy revealed in bedforms and scour. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 14: 4334-4340. doi:10.1002/ggge.20260
UNDERWOOD, L.A. & STOWE, T.J. 1984. Massive wreck of seabirds in eastern Britain, 1983. Bird Study 31: 79-88.
VAN PELT, T.I. & PIATT, J.F. 1995. Deposition and persistence of beachcast seabird carcasses. Marine Pollution Bulletin 30: 794-802.
VEIT, R.R. & GURIS, P.A. 2008. Recent increases in alcid abundance in the New York Bight and New England waters. New Jersey Birds 34: 83-87.
VEIT, R.R. & MANNE, L.L. 2015. Climate and changing winter distribution of alcids in the Northwest Atlantic. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 3: 38. doi:10.3389/fevo.2015.00038
WARNER, J.C., SCHWAB, W.C., LIST, J.H., SAFAK, I., LISTE, M. & BALDWIN, W. 2017. Inner-shelf ocean dynamics and seafloor morphologic changes during Hurricane Sandy. Continental Shelf Research 138: 1-18.
WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER 2018. Daily Weather Maps. College Park, USA: National Centers for Environmental Prediction, NOAA. [Accessed online at https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/dailywxmap/index.html in Aug 2018.]
WEATHER UNDERGROUND 2018. Provincetown, MA Weather Conditions. Brookhaven, USA: The Weather Company. [Accessed online at www.wunderground.com/weather/us/ma/provincetown in Aug 2018.]
ŽYDELIS, R., DAGYS, M. & VAITKUS, G. 2006. Beached bird surveys in Lithuania reflect marine oil pollution and bird mortality in fishing nets. Marine Ornithology 34: 161-166.